wild garlic and saffron potato soup

Lindsey Bareham

I haven’t discovered any wild garlic growing in hedgerows near where I live yet but it’s early this year. The long, dark green leaves with their pale stalks are what you need for subtle garlic soups and sauces. The first wild garlic of the season from my farmers’ market went into this super-quick, super-easy, super-creamy soup, made — zut alors — with supermarket mashed potato. A hint of saffron isn’t essential but adds to the beguiling flavours.

serves 2, prep 15 min, cook 20 min

1 onion
25g butter
Pinch saffron threads
1 tsp flour
Handful wild garlic leaves, approx 50g
200g mashed potato
400ml chicken, game or vegetable stock
½ lemon

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Soften in the butter with a pinch of salt, cooking gently until soft, sloppy and hardly coloured. Stir in the saffron. Meanwhile, form a bunch with the wild garlic, rinse, shake dry and chop finely at the root end and roughly as you work up the soft leaves.

Stir the stalk end into the softened onion for a minute or two then sift the flour over the top, stirring until disappeared. Add remaining wild garlic, the mash and a mug of stock. Stir vigorously until smooth then add remaining stock, stirring as it comes to simmer. Cook, stirring, for 5 min. Liquidise, then season to taste with salt and lemon. This is very good with the addition of a soft-poached egg.